Cocopotamus Chocolate

Alibi Magazine 11.19.2009

Just Desserts

By Laura Marrich

V.18 No. 47 | November 19-25, 2009


Visit to place an order or find a store that stocks them

When Ally Sinclair answers the phone at Cocopotamus headquarters, she has to excuse herself.

"I have chocolate all over my hands!"

It doesn't sound like she minds.

Husband and wife chocolatiers Max and Ally Sinclair clearly love their jobs. They talk about Cocopotamus with an effervescent warmth, the sort of awed excitement you see in parents with a toddler who’s discovered walking.

Cocopotamus is their baby, after all. And people can’t help but coo over it. This month, toothy food celebrity Rachel Ray called Cocopotamus "awesome" and put the boutique chocolate company in her Thanksgiving Guide. When Ally pulled a personal note from Ina Garten, "the Barefoot Contessa," out of the mailbox, Max thought his wife was just pulling his leg. "We have no idea how they found out about us," Ally says. Cocopotamus has only been in production since July.

"We like to travel and eat, and our food reflects that."

Ally Sinclair, Cocopotamus

The Sinclairs describe their fudge-filled truffles as "New American"—a modern, multicultural twist on old-fashioned American fudge. It's casual and fun. Even though it's high-quality, it's not at all stuffy. All the hand-dipped truffles are made with dark chocolate, but you almost wouldn't know it. "Everything is super creamy," Ally says.

Chocolate can merge with a huge spectrum of flavors, from "comfortable, inspired-by-grandma's-pie" combinations to bolder, more exotic ingredients. Cocopotamus' 18 thoughtful flavors span the gamut. "It's a good way to introduce people to new cultures, through foods," Max says.

Cocopotamus' globetrotting ethos is a reflection of the Sinclairs. "We like to travel and eat, and our food reflects that," Ally says. She speaks Japanese and went to high school in Japan, which gave her the inspiration for Sumos Never Sleep, a matcha green tea truffle. Max's thought process behind the Ommm... truffle started with the British tradition of orange and chocolate (specifically, those whackable Terry's Chocolate Oranges). That led him to consider Great Britain's history with India and its spice trade. The result—organic orange with chai spices and Triple Sec liqueur—“is unlike any other chocolate orange I've tasted," he says.

There are no junky ingredients like artificial preservatives or corn syrup in Cocopotamus chocolates. The flavors are always natural—the wild Thai ginger in Gilligan's Fave actually comes from wild Thai ginger. That's something everyone (except Mary Ann, maybe) can love. And, Max says, if they can bring the planet together through chocolate, all the better. “That’s the secret mission."